DAF unveils lightweight prototype distribution truck 15 June 2015

DAF has developed a prototype distribution truck that promises a 500kg weight saving on a 12-tonne LF distribution vehicle.

Called the Future Truck Chassis Concept (FTCC), it is based on the LF series. DAF worked with Sapa Profiles UK on the design, which features aluminium extrusions, while CSA Group conducted vehicle and rig-based testing.

The project's aim was to deliver a vehicle with higher payload, lower fuel consumption and, in turn, lower CO2 emissions, and it was part funded by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board).

Aluminium plays a key part in the FTCC's design, used for parts of the wheel suspension, the floor of the body and the front underrun protection.

The concept also includes two newly patented chassis design innovations.

First, the front underrun protection is mounted on a patented front frame module. This is attached to the side members, which don't go to the front of the vehicle, so allowing optimal packaging.

The second is the body floor structure: this is integrated in the chassis frame design, by incorporating the body sub frame into the main chassis side members.

Additionally, DAF's prototype includes advanced features such as independent front air suspension with rack and pinion steering – to evaluate its benefits in terms of ride quality, steering precision and vehicle packaging improvements.

"Light weighting is at the heart of our global efforts to reduce fuel consumption and thus emissions," confirms Rob Lawton, Leyland Trucks' senior engineer and project team leader.

"Our FTCC project has achieved our objectives: a 30% weight saving focused on the components used in the main truck chassis frame, body under structure, front suspension and steering."

The truck will be on display at several events, including the Cenex LC at Millbrook in September.

Laura Cork

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